Google Suspends Parler From App Store After Capitol Riots

Parler
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple is considering a similar measure if the app popular with Trump supporters does not send over a "full moderation plan."

Google has suspended the social networking app Parler from its Google Play store after the riots attempting to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the U.S. on Wednesday.

The ban went into effect Friday. Parler, which is popular among Trump supporters, extremists and conservatives, will not be removed from existing users' phones as part of the Google ban and will still be available to download on other Android app stores and on the web.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson said, "In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues."

On Friday, Buzzfeed News reported that Apple had contacted Parler that morning, threatening to ban the app unless it provided a "full moderation plan" within 24 hours. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Apple for comment.

Calls for Google and Apple to ban Parler from their app stores increased after Wednesday's events and reporting showing that app users were encouraging violence in their exchanges prior to the Wednesday event. During the siege at the Capitol, Parler users also egged on rioters, telling them to "hold your ground" and saying "no change without bloodshed."

These actions come the same day that Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump's account over "risk of further incitement of violence" and deleted tweets from the @POTUS account after the president attempted to tweet there following the ban.

On Thursday Facebook extended a block on Trump's account, initially instituted temporarily on Wednseday, through the end of his presidency. "The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post about the decision.